I have neglected the blog for a couple of weeks. We have been traveling. It was fun but very tiring for a person my age. We revisited some of the places in the Washington DC area, where we once lived and worked. We lived there 35 years ago, so many things were new to us. Even the metro was a new means of transportation; thank heavens. The FDR, Viet Nam, Korean War and World War II Memorials were new to us. The greatest change is at Mount Vernon. The leaning center at Mount Vernon is filled with great exhibits, movies and many other things telling a great story of Washington and the history of our country. I got a great personal tour of the Gettysburg battlefield and studied the battle in detail. I had been to Gettysburg many times before but it was nothing like the current visit. A real added attraction at Gettysburg is to tour the Eisenhower farm that is located next door.
One of my main reasons for visiting was to see the Museum of Civil War Medicine. That was worth the whole trip. We also revisited Monticello and re-experienced the great intellect of Thomas Jefferson. His home is like a trip into his mind. The tour guide even talked about Jefferson’s relationship with Sally Hemming. We also visited Andrew Jackson’s home, the Hermitage, for our fourth time. We learn something new with each visit. A new site for us was the Woodrow Wilson birthplace and museum in Staunton, Virginia. Wilson was truly a great President and we are just now beginning to appreciate how great.
The most striking thing about visiting all these places is the massive number of people who are out there. The greatest threat to the planet is not global warming but the population explosion. The sheer weight of the people and the vehicles on the road are going to sink us. When we lived in the DC area it was possible to drive up the Smithsonian or the Memorials and park in front. It is insane to drive a car into the area today. It’s like driving the bumper cars at a carnival. The guide at the Hermitage said it took Andrew Jackson four hours to make the trip to Nashville by horse and buggy. A few years ago it took about 10 or 15 minutes by car, now it is the same as in Jackson’s time because of the traffic. As you leave the Hermitage there are McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Lowe’s, Staples, Home Depot, etc., etc. I thought I was back in Temple. Every town in the US now looks the same. They have all lost their identity. We have become a uniculture. Fortunately, most of these historic sites are sequestered behind trees and protective fences that help preserve their identity to some extent.
I’m most happy to be back on the porch in Salado. I don’t plan to get into my car for several more days. As mentioned in my previous blog, one of the places I liked most was Eisenhower’s farm home (pictured above). He had a porch that was enclose, much like mine. He spent a great deal of time there, just admiring the quiet field and woods behind his home. I have come to admire Eisenhower even more because of his taste in porches